Greater European Nonwovens Production Reaches 4.4% Annual Average Growth over Last Decade

EDANA, the International Association Serving the Nonwovens and Related Industries, has released its European annual statistics for 2019.
As a result of the recent economic conditions and, in particular, the downturn in several end-use sectors, figures for Greater Europe (Western, Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia) show that the overall production of nonwovens has been flat in both weight (up 0.3%) and in surface area (up 0.5%) compared with 2018.
According to figures collected and compiled by the EDANA secretariat, production of nonwovens in Europe reached 2,782,917 tons. This compares with 2,774,194 tons in 2018 when the annual growth was 1.5%. Despite these two low growth years, the European production recorded an average growth rate of 4.4% over the last decade.
Obviously, a more in-depth analysis will be necessary to draw any definitive conclusion, as diverging trends have been observed in a number of European countries, and between the various production processes and market segments of nonwovens.
According to Jacques Prigneaux, EDANA’s Market Analysis and Economic Affairs Director, in terms of apparent growth rates, airlaid nonwovens has been in line with the long-term trend this year, but it is actually the hydroentanglement process that has recorded the highest growth rate, at slightly more than 5.5%. However, other bonding processes within the drylaid technologies (thermally, air-through, chemically bonded and needled punched), as well as wetlaid nonwovens witnessed either flat or negative growth rates in 2019. Spunmelt nonwovens production, compared to its performance of 2018, recorded a growth of 0.6%.”
The main end-use for nonwovens remains the hygiene market with a 29% share of deliveries, amounting to 792,620 tons, a growth of 1.5% in 2019. The most significant increases in percentage in 2019 were in table linen (up 12.3%) and electronic materials (up 6.8%). In contrast, several important sectors in terms of volumes sold showed limited (and sometimes negative) growth rates: e.g. personal care wipes (up 1.6%), building/roofing (down 0.3%), civil engineering (down 1.5%) and automotive interiors (down 2.5%). Additionally, major declines were noticed in medical applications, garments, interlinings and wall covering.